WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Edi
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Host Edi
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different projects considering that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Web Host Edi
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Edi
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Edi
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Edi
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has engaged with really knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Edi
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Edi
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host Edi
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Web Host Edi
WP Engine stands out not only on current features but likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate finest practices into implementation & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Edi
All that stated, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host Edi
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to assist fix all sorts of problems.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Edi
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Edi
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Host Edi